Ranking nine Rivalry Week matchups by playoff importance

USA Today Sports

There's a section in Ohio State's football building dedicated to college football's "GREATEST RIVALRY." A Michigan helmet and an Ohio State helmet are mounted on each side of a countdown clock that runs year-round, ticking down the seconds until The Game.

The clock's countdown is nearly complete, and once again, the Big Ten's biggest rivalry will determine the winner of its East Division and the league's top College Football Playoff contender. (As if the storied rivalry needed any additional juice.)

But Ohio State-Michigan is hardly the only game during Rivalry Week that could drastically change the playoff picture.

There are still eight teams with at least a 23% chance to reach the playoff, according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor, and all of them will be facing rivals in Week 13. The CFP selection committee considers that wacky things sometimes happen in rivalry games because of the emotions, shared history, recruiting wars and player familiarity between neighboring programs.

But that doesn't mean teams get an excuse to lose.

Here are the top nine rivalry games this week, ranked from biggest to smallest by the size of the impact they'll have on Selection Day:

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Arizona-Arizona State
Florida State-Florida

Georgia-Georgia Tech
Michigan-Ohio State
Oregon State-Oregon
Texas Tech-Texas

Washington State-Washington